(In the week, and in fact, many weeks following the Christmas/New Year’s binge, if there’s ONE resolution you fervently take, it is to lose weight. This will be the week. Month... year.... But we shall do it! The Quint would like to help you in your pursuit and to let you know that it's okay if you face stumbling blocks along the way. In that context, here’s republishing Vandana Malik’s weight loss battles from our archives – a woman who attempted every fad diet in the book and made discoveries she never thought she would.)
Why does the weight I lose manage to find me? Let me chart out for you how it all began…
Attempt No 1 with Dietician No 1:
The Diet: NO sugar and NO fried stuff, I was told. Caneat bread, wheat, rice (any one) curds, vegetables, fish, chicken – but insmall quantities – and can have a glass of wine on weekends. I was basically asked to eat a well-balanceddiet and consume approximately 1200 kcals (aka calories) a day. And forexercise? Simply walk for an hour each day!
Easy peasy, I thought– and super doable. So, armed with the determination to shed 20 kilos in 12months I embarked on this journey.
‘Wicked’ Metabolism on my Side
The honest truth –even if I do say so myself? It wasn’t so hard at the point of time. I was 30years younger and that devilishly tricky thing, ‘metabolism’, was on my side.
Also, you couldn’thave found another soul who took their dietician’s advice more seriously. There was my hapless cook telling me at thelast moment, “Madam, gobi nahi hain”, and contrary to my usual admonishing self,I would walk happily to the vegetable market to go get it.
If that were the end of it! Hardly was I back from an easy 6-km walk than there she would go,whispering meekly: “Fruit bhi chahiye” – and off I’d go again!
Under any othercircumstances, I’d be yelling my head off, but not this time, not this new me,determined to shed those stubborn kilos. I do believe I got in about a coupleof hours’ walk each day (once in the morning, and again in the evening), withone of those beloved old contraptions for company – a Walkman.
I remember feeling likeJohnny Walker at the time. Friends would spot me walking all over Bandra carryingrandom packets of fruits and vegetables and think me nuts! Aah, perhaps I was – but the goal of losing20 kilos in 12 months had consumed me. Ona serious note, I have to come to realise in many years of experience thatthere is nothing more therapeutic for both the mind and the body than a good,long walk.
Giving in to Cravings
Okay, so getting backto my diet; now that my workout was in place, it was imperative that I stick tothe right foods.
I only had to firmlydeal with the ever present craving for sugar and that was a very toughtemptation to overcome. But when one is younger one’s will power is stronger, soI fought the temptation and reached my goal and kept the promise I had made tomyself. Everyone I met complimented me on the weight I had lost and toldme how good I was looking. I was flushed with pride at what I had achieved. Missionaccomplished, I whooped in my head – I was on top of the world.
I now needed a treat.And why not? Just one small piece of chocolate brownie, a bite of a milk cake, the crust off a samosa, just ONE paani puri , just one, just this once…and lo and behold! The inevitable happened. Slowly but surely the ‘wicked’ weight that I had lost with so much effort managed to find me. It took my body3 years but at the end of that time I was back to “Being Fat”. The only saving grace? This time the alarm bells rang at +15 kg and I could screech to a halt (thankGod for small mercies!).
The realisation dawned on me that I have to make a lifestyle change if I have to stay thin. And thus began my “attempt”no 2 with dietitian no 2. The goal was still the same as before, but it had to be tweaked a little. I still needed to “be thin”, but I also needed to find the way to “stay thin”!
And what came of it? Let’s hold off till next week. Until then, eat healthy and stay healthy.
(Vandana Malik will be writing in with what she calls a new weight loss “attempt” every week for readers of The Quint. Watch this space for more!)